THE STOCK MARKET: Descent into Limbo

The stock market is a funhouse mirror of the U.S. economy. It reflects business trends and public expectations in highly exaggerated form, but there is usually enough reality underlying the distortions so that it cannot be ignored. This is especially true now that the market affects the wealth of 100 million Americans, who have at least an indirect stake in stocks through mutual funds, pension funds and insurance policies. For the past three weeks, the market has been projecting a mood of deep nervousness. By last week, eleven straight daily declines had...

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